Event Recap: Panel on Innovative Learning Programs for NYC

In December 2020, Siegel Family Endowment’s Director of Grants Management Joshua Elder participated in a panel discussion hosted by the Citizens Committee for New York City as part of their ongoing Citizens NYC LIVE series. This event series has focused primarily on the different ways that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced practitioners in a range of industries all over the New York City area to reconsider some of their most foundational beliefs, and to share findings on the unexpected opportunities for reimagination that they’ve encountered over the last year.

This particular panel focused specifically on opportunities for innovation in education during the pandemic, and the challenges faced by communities and schools across the five boroughs. The event was moderated by Citizens Committee for New York City’s CEO Dr. Rahsaan Harris, and included panelists Dr. Randall Pinkett, Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of BCT Partners, and Rebecca Garte, Associate Professor of Teacher Education at the Borough of Manhattan Community College.

The group discussed a wide range of topics that were especially relevant to New York City students, parents, and school communities, including hyper-local education, pod learning, spatial design, resource allocation, connectivity, and health and safety. Many of these subjects, including pod learning and innovative learning environment design, represent a continuation of ongoing themes that SFE is exploring through the grants in our Learning grantmaking portfolio.

“Our support for learning pods and other exploratory formats that create equitable access to hyper-local education is an important component of our strategic approach,” says Joshua. “It’s a really valuable way to apply some of the key lessons from our multidimensional infrastructure framework to impacting teaching and learning in public school systems, and critically balances a number of digital, physical, and social factors.”

We’re excited to continue the conversation around these topics, and to share our findings and grantee insights as we keep exploring new opportunities to advance learning in New York City and beyond.

Watch the full conversation below: